Inner City Seattle/Tacoma

Principles of Effective City Ministry

We recognize the immense complexity of the causes, symptoms and solutions to inner-city poverty. It does not seek to impose a comprehensive plan upon inner-city communities.

Rather, the plan is one that is built from the bottom up. It starts with a historically stable institution within the inner city, the church, and ends as a movement – a movement sensitive to the needs of its community, empowered by the Holy Spirit, and energized by a unified Body of Christ.

Into the fabric of all that we do are woven five basic operating principles. These principles, distilled from hundreds of hours of interviews with inner-city leaders, cannot be violated if we are to be successful in our mission:

  • Effective city ministry is empowering, not paternalistic – offering resources to existing ministries to help them fulfill their potential of ministering to the people of the inner city.
  • Effective city ministry is wholistic in scope – the ministry needs to be committed to addressing the needs of the whole person – body, soul, and spirit.
  • Effective city ministry emphasizes relationships as a foundation for programs – investment in long-term relationships, not short-term programs, ultimately leads to lasting change.
  • Effective city ministry addresses the root causes of problems, not just their symptoms – Biblical issues of poverty, injustice, greed, and power must be addressed.
  • Effective city ministry affirms cultural diversity – resources and training must be delivered in a culturally relevant context.

This is the essence of the Inner City strategy – a group of people with servants’ hearts, committed to listening and discovering the needs of the inner-city church. By serving, they seek to enable that church to fulfill its mandate and potential to minister to the poor.

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